Harmony and Peace


I watched the Pope at the ground zero conducting a beautiful interfaith service. It touched my heart and sincerely was the best interfaith service I have seen in a very long time. The children’s choir sang and it was beautiful and appropriate as we work towards peace.




A Holy Day

Today, is the holiest day in the Jewish year. It is a day for assessing oneself and how we are doing living our lives. Adonai gave the ten commandments, but he had other acts in mind that he/she didn’t want people to do. Tonight, begins the high holy day, Yom Kippur. Jews worldwide will be in temple or their homes and they will be honestly looking inside of their hearts and souls.


On Yon Kippur, it is said that the names of those who will live through the New Year will be written into the book of life for another year. Wrong doing or sin, is looked at personally and as a community.


I like this concept that the community can sin as a whole and we all share responsibility. So what kinds of things is he/she talking about?


Assumed the worst in others and the best of ourselves.

Betrayed the trust others have placed in us.

Confused that which is essential with that which is not,

Destroyed ourselves with needless abuses,

Enjoyed the downfall of our adversaries with glee.

Felt superior to others by means of ability, wealth or power.

Given less than our full selves to our community and our world.

Hastened to decry responsibility for our own actions,

Instigated animosity among others,

Junked our world with trash, showing no retard for the environment.

Kindled misplaced passions.

Lied to cover our vanities.

Missed opportunities to better ourselves.

Negated the validity of others in an effort to aggrandize ourselves,

Observed persons in need, and ignored what we saw.

Perverted the blessings of our lives into dangerous obsessions and mere possessions.

Quietly slipped into lived defined by moral decay,

Refused ourselves and other our love.

Seduced ourselves with the lie that “no one is going to get hurt.”

Trivialized the power we represent in God’s Universe.

Unleashed hurtful words.

Valued strangers more than our family and friends.

Wished ill upon others,

Xeroxed in violation of copyright and trademark.

Yielded to temptation.

Zestfully pursued happiness to the exclusion of goodness.

—Rabbi David Greenspoon and Steve Kerbel



A Prayer For Peace


Let us live in peace, God.

Let children live in peace, in homes free from brutality and abuse.

Let them go to school in peace, free from violence and fear.

Let them play in peace, God, in safe parks, in safe neighborhoods; watch over them.

Let husbands and wives love in peace, in marriages free from cruelty.

Let men and women work in peace, with no fears of terror or bloodshed.

Let us travel in peace; protect is, God, in the air, on the seas, along whatever road we take.

Let nations dwell together in peace, without the threat of war hovering over them.

Help us, God. Teach all people of all races and faiths, in all the countries all over the world to believe that the peace that seems so far off is in fact within our reach.

Let us all live in peace, God. And let us say, Amen.

—Rabbi Naomi Levy






Jewish holy day

Jewish holy day

War and Peace

” Never think that war, no matter how necessary, nor how justified, is not a crime.”

—Ernest Hemingway


Peace, shalom

is not


the absence of difficulties


the handling of difficulties


loss of balance

Shalom is not the absence of tension

but the acceptance of it as part of the Way.

Shalom is not the absence of war

but the careful waging of war

without losing one’s balance.

Shalom, is not passive non-violence,

but active confrontation with truth.


Shalom is the ability to see the grain of life

and act in accord with it;

to discover that effortless effort,

action in tune with the Way of Universe,

is the secret of both peace and power.


—Rabbi Shapiro



“War will exist until that distant day when the conscientious objector enjoys the same reputation and prestige that the warrior does today.”

—John F. Kennedy




download (1)

Give me peace







Achieve peace with understanding.

Achieve peace with understanding.



“Grant us peace. Your most precious gift,O Eternal Source of Peace, and give us the will to proclaim its message to all the peoples of the earth. Bless our country. that it may always be a stronghold of peace, and its advocate among the nations. May contentment reign between its borders, health and happiness within its homes. Strengthen the bonds of friendship among the inhabitants of all lands, and may the love of your name hallow every home and every heart. Teach us O God, to labor for righteousness, and inscribe us in the book of Life, blessing, and peace. Blessed is the Eternal God, the Source of peace. ”



“May we lie down this night in peace, and rise up to life renewed. May night spread over us a shelter of peace, of quiet and calm, the blessing of rest.

There will come a time when morning will bring no word of war or famine or anguish; there will come a day of happiness, of contentment  and peace.

Praised be the Source of joy within us, for the night and its rest, for the promise of peace.”



A time of renewal

A time of renewal


Tonight is the first night of the Jewish New Year. Jews around the world are asking for a sweet new year and for health, joy and peace. They go to Temple tonight to ask for a world in attunement, food for the hungry, calmness in our stricken world. They ask for all of the things that when blended together will bring an end to wars and strife.

May  all of you find contentment and peace in you lives. And to every Jew, Rosh Hashanah, a happy new year.






Blowing in the Wind

Fifty years ago, there was a folk song that was played frequently on the radio. The song was “Blowin’ in the Wind.” The Vietnam War was going on and so many Vietnamese and our boys were killed. We had a draft here in America and dinner was spent in front of the television. They pulled the numbers of the brothers, friends, boyfriends, cousins that were going to have to go to war. Needless to say, it was gruesome.


The song signified all the questions we had about life on this world. Why people wanted to fight wars. Why we wanted to hurt other human beings. Why life was so dangerous. Some of you will remember this song and many of you will experience for the first time. I hope it makes everyone think. I hope everyone thinks before it is too late.











Where have all the Flowers Gone?


Pete Seeger wrote this song to remind us that when we wage war, we are destroying ourselves. We lose so much during wars. We lose lives, we lose nature and we lose ourselves. It is 2015, and we still haven’t learned.






What I am saying is that war has never fixed anything…not ever.



This Land is Your Land


This land is your land

–Woody Guthrie


This land is my land
From California to the New York island
From the red wood forest to the Gulf Stream waters
This land was made for you and Me

As I was walking that ribbon of highway
I saw above me that endless skyway
I saw below me that golden valley
This land was made for you and me

I’ve roamed and rambled and I followed my footsteps
To the sparkling sands of her diamond deserts
And all around me a voice was sounding
This land was made for you and me

When the sun came shining, and I was strolling
And the wheat fields waving and the dust clouds rolling
As the fog was lifting a voice was chanting
This land was made for you and me

As I went walking I saw a sign there
And on the sign it said “No Trespassing”
But on the other side it didn’t say nothing
That side was made for you and me

In the shadow of the steeple I saw my people
By the relief office I seen my people
As they stood there hungry, I stood there asking
Is this land made for you and me?

Nobody living can ever stop me
As I go walking that freedom highway
Nobody living can ever make me turn back
This land was made for you and me










America is founded on one idea:  That ALL are created equal.  Regardless of color, country of origin, religion, ethnicity, sexuality, social class, education, economic status, this land belongs to us all.


May there be no quarrels.   May there be no hatred, because truly, this land was made for you and me.


Rest in Peace, Pete Seeger




Remembering What America Could Be — A Guest Rant

Hello, Everyone.  It is I, The IdealisticRebel’s Sister, and I have taken over the keyboard today to share a few thoughts.

Okay, rants.


For those of you who are not aware, I turned fifty several months ago, so when I say I remember a different America, I mean that I grew up in a different America.


In the America I grew up in, anger resulted in shouting, fist-fights and, occasionally law suits.  It did not end up in bullet-ridden bodies on the street corner, in the living room or the movie theatre.


I grew up in an America where we played outside till the lights came on, and no one worried we were going to be grabbed and shoved into a van and sold into slavery.  Strange cars in the neighborhood were first waved at, then greeted by a crowd of teenagers watching closely if they seemed suspicious.  Because those teenagers might be picking on you, but you were somebody’s little sister or little brother or younger cousin, and nobody got to mess with you but them!


I grew up in an America where my Mom worked full-time, raising three kids.  I came home to an empty house after school, and called my Mom the SECOND I got through the door, or I got what-for when she had to call me.  I heated up the dinner Mom had pre-made for the two of us, after my siblings went to college, and Mom and I ate together and shared our days and our plans for the week or the weekend.  Weekends, my siblings (sometimes) came home and we all ate together and yelled together and played together and ignored each other.  There was no father in our house (ours was the first household in school to have that ugly seven-letter word:  D-I-V-O-R-C-E).  My father, in fact, moved to Canada and, if I was lucky, I saw him twice a year.  My siblings often saw him less.

And none of us ended up on drugs, or got in bar fights, or beat our partners, or bought a gun and shot some stranger who reminded us of our parents.  We actually ended up as reasonably well-adjusted adults.  Perfect?  Not even close!  Dysfunctional together?  You bet!  But, push comes to shove, loving and caring and compassionate people who, each in our own way, do our best for those around us and the world.


There is no one who needs to tell me what it’s like to come from a broken home; to come home to an empty house day after day; to not have friends to play with because my family was different (I did mention:  the FIRST divorce, didn’t I?)  I was there.  I lived it, I felt it.


I was (very minorly) bullied in school, picked on by the ‘cool kids’, made to eat my lunch alone (because the ‘cool kids’ would ostracize anyone who sat with me), but I learned to cope, and to be happy in my own company and it never occurred to me — nor to anyone else I knew — to walk into my school and blow all my classmates away.


When did we become a country whose knee-jerk response is to shoot first and not ask questions, ever?


I’m not saying that we need to back to the 50’s, 60’s or 70’s.  Go back to the time when blacks sat in the back of the bus?  When it was legal to hit a woman?  No, thank you.


But there has to be something between that and THIS.  Something between “you’re different, so I’m going to force you to stay away from me” and “you’re different so I’m going to blow your head off.”


I don’t know what the answer is.  When I was a child, I might have said religion.  But now, in a world where religion is an excuse to blow up synagogues and mosques and churches; where churches teach that anyone who believes differently will go to hell; where church groups picket the funerals of people who, in life, did or were something these narrow-minded people feel is ‘evil’?   I can’t believe THAT kind of religion — any kind of extremist religion, and it seems that, increasingly, that’s the predominant mentality of religious groups these days — is the answer.


I don’t know what the answer is.  When I was a child, I might have said the law.  But the lawmakers are trying to overturn basic human rights, and fighting granting rights to anyone different from them.  So I don’t know that the law is the answer (although, it’s getting better:  Thank you, SCOTUS; Thank you, POTUS).


I don’t know what the answer is.  Now that I’m an adult, though, I think the answer is more simple than I imagined as a child:  I think the answer might — just might — be US.  Each one of us, putting aside our differences to look for the commonalities; checking our prejudices at the door and actually LISTENING to the other side, without anger or vitriol; without judgement or censure; with open minds and open hearts and a genuine desire to make the world and each other better.


I don’t know what the answer is.


Do you?